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With a new pickup, the Kittitas Police Department will have more diversity on the road.

The pickup will be more suited for a small-town police force, where transportation of supplies and four-wheel-drive will be useful.

This 2019 Ford F-150 is being driven by Police Chief Chris Taylor. Officers Benito Chavez and Aaron Nelson are driving the 2017 Ford Explorers that the department has had for two years. The truck was purchased by KPD Jan. 10.

The truck carries a decked box in the bed, which will provide the department with secure storage for emergency supplies. It is also equipped with tracer lights lined across the bottom of the bodywork, that will flash red, white and blue.

The backseat has been modified so the police can transport a suspect. A plastic divider has been set up so a suspect would ride in a box-like car seat on the passenger side of the vehicle. The truck can only transport one suspect at a time, as the other half of the backseat is used for storage.

Taylor expects to get some years out of the truck. According to him, KPD vehicles don’t usually stack on the miles. The Explorers the y have had for two years have only around 20,000 miles each.

The F-150 is paid for entirely through the three-tenths of 1% sales tax for law enforcement. In previous years, the department used that money to hire another officer.

The department also used funds from three-tenths to improve the station. New computers and desks were supplied to officers, as well as a cosmetic upgrade for the offices.

“That’s the significance of three-tenths in this county,” Taylor said. “It affords the local law enforcement agencies for more manpower and equipment to maintain a positive and productive and more efficient agency.”


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